Sunday, October 18, 2015

Walt Disney World Planning. 222 days to go!

So my last blog was more of an update. Here I will be discussing the details related to how I was  able to plan and how I will be further planning our trip to Disney World.

When we will be going:
We will be leaving at the end of Trent's school May27 and staying through June 8th. When I researched more about crowds and when would be the best time to travel I had started off with four different times of the year in mind, Trent's spring break (mid-March), beginning of summer break (May 27), ending of summer break (July 13), and Fall break (beginning of October).

I found some crowd calendars on Pinterest. These three were by far the most useful: your first visit crowd calendar wdw prepschool crowd calendar and dadsguidetowdw crowd calendar. I found the most detailed was the wdw prepschool calendar as she broke down each month by date and further explained which parks are predicted to be more busy during each day.

Airfare:
As many of us from Hawaii know, going to the mainland it is usually very expensive and very uncomfortable to get to the west coast, let alone get across the country. When we went on our honeymoon to Alaska, we flew with Alaska Air and we were pleasantly surprised by how nice the service was and with how easy it was to fly with them, especially with flights that depart directly from Lihue to the west coast! So with that in mind I searched their website first to see if they even flew to Florida, to my excitement they do! Getting to Florida will be a 12hr flight, and returning home we will be making a pit stop in Seattle for a day to spend some time with the Wilsons (Bo's sister and her family).

I have not yet booked the flight because I am waiting to see if I will have enough miles for a one way ticket, I already have a $50 off coupon as part of my perks of having an Alaska air credit card (thank you to Bo's mom Eve for talking me into applying!).

Accommodations:
With this being Trent's first trip to Disney World I have elected to stay on Disney property, I had initially planned to split our time between two separate hotels, however when we looked at the logistics involved we were basically going to loose an entire day due to moving hotels. With our two travel styles differing so greatly I decided to let this one go and my husband won this round. We will be staying on Disney property the entire length of our stay...before you say it....GASP!!!

I know, I almost fell backwards too when he suggested such a crazy idea. When I stood back to look at it further and in more details, I realized that I would be saving myself a huge headache and a lot of hassle not having to deal with Bo being super grumpy and Trent being irritated with moving hotels and losing an entire park day because of this movement.

Because we will be staying on Disney property the entire length of our stay (11 nights) it took me a painstakingly long amount of time to research which hotel would be within an "affordable price range" for us and we wouldn't feel like we were ripped off because the hotel was "cheap".

I started with Disney's official website to do some initial research and I had decided to book through the mouse because I trust them and I know I am not getting scammed. I again used wdw prepschoolthe mouse for less, trip adviser, and hotels.com to look up reviews and tips about each of the hotels.

I finally decided to stay at one of the moderate hotels versus the value hotels because of our travel styles. My husband is all about the convenience when we travel, where as I am always trying to find some ways of saving money. We both also like to dine at nicer restaurants and we like to have options as far as where we would like to eat. We also wanted options in pools. With our budget, wishlist, and travel styles in mind I finally decided on staying at the Disney's Caribbean Beach resort.

Tickets/Entertainment/Dining:
We purchased a package deal through Disney for our Hotel, Disney tickets, Magic Memory Maker, and Disney Dining plan.

The perks of staying on property, and the value of the dining plan made me decide to go with the dining plan. I know that we will be spending 2-3days off property to go to Universal Studios, however with the dining plan it will offer us an opportunity to eat at restaurants I would otherwise not even attempt to go due to the cost. The dining plan offers you an opportunity to eat at the more expensive restaurants for the cost of 2 dining experiences which might just work out fine so that we can use all of our meal credits.

Even if I'm not saving that much money using this dining plan at least I will feel like I saved money!

Our purchase through Disney allowed me the opportunity to place a down payment for our trip so I didn't have to pay for it all up front. This was a really nice option as I can now make small payments each month leading up to our trip so that it's not such a huge shock to pay it all one time (like our honeymoon!).

For now I am thoroughly excited that we will be going to Disney World next year! I will keep you all posted as we count down the days to our first BIG family trip!

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